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Category Archives: Musical Theatre

West Side Story Live

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Wednesday was the day I had been waiting for and looking forward to for so long. I finally saw West Side Story live!

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I booked my tickets back in May to see West Side Story live at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin, Ireland.

So I hopped on a bus and two and a half hours later I was in Dublin.

From the bus stop I walked down to the venue which is a long enough walk. Of course add to that the fact that it is Ireland so naturally it had to be raining, which made the walk seem that much longer.

However the rain couldn’t dampen my spirits as I was super excited about seeing one of my favourite musicals of all time live.

So I arrived at the venue and bought my programme and had a little look through it so see what was in store. I didn’t recognise any of the cast so I was eager to see how they would bring some iconic characters to life.

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Bord Gais Energy Theatre

What was also quite funny is I was probably one of the youngest people there! Since it was a matinée show, it was predominantly full of old age pensioners. In fact, I would go so far as to say, most people there were probably the age I am now when the film first came out back in 1961!

When the doors of the theatre finally opened, I was very surprised to discover that I actually had front row seats! I knew that I was in row C, but what I did not know is that they took out row A and B! So I was literally feet away from the actors on stage, and the live orchestra was right below me – literally! I could actually see the beads of sweat pouring down the actors’ faces…tmi?

theatre-imageSee that very front row? Yeah, that’s where I sat 🙂

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I was so close to the stage that I couldn’t even take a picture of how close I was. This was the best I could do. It was taken at an angle because if pointed the camera straight ahead of me, all you would have seen is the red curtain!

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And this is how far away everyone else was haha!

I was so over excited to see the orchestra pit below me, after all the music is one of the main aspects of a live show!

Here are a few pictures of the orchestra pit. These aren’t zoomed in or anything. I was so close I literally could have had a conversation with the conductor.

IMG_1706This guy was practising when we took our seats and I immediately recognised that he was playing the song from the dance scene.

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These drums were right below me. As I said this isn’t zoomed in or anything. So I could feel the vibrations of them the entire play!

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The time finally came when the curtains were pulled up and the stage was lit up to the scene of the Jets on the stage.

For the record, can I just say one thing – WOW – that is it…wow! The Jets blew me away in this production. They were seriously amazing. For me, they stole the show. I found myself wanting to see less of Tony and Maria and more of The Jets – crazy right? Especially seeing as in the film version I always sort of preferred the Sharks. But this production definitely changed my mind and now I am crazy for the Jets.

WSS0475When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way

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One of the best numbers was Officer Krupke

What I also found by being in the front row, and so close to the performers was it sometimes felt as though they were looking at you which was quite strange.

But anyways, the Jets were amazing in their opening number. I was seriously impressed by Jack Wilcox who played Riff. That guy has a serious future ahead of him, whether it be in theatre productions or film – that guy can act!

I also loved Samuel Salter who played Big Deal. The whole time he was on stage, I thought I was looking at Grant Gustin. Seriously they are each others doppelgänger. But I had to convince myself it was not Grant.

I could list out all of the Jets really for being amazing performers, because they were. As I said, I was seriously impressed by the Jets. Okay lets move on.

Katie Hall who played Maria had her character nailed to a tee. She brought all of the innocence that captured the character of Maria and also her voice? I don’t understand why this girl isn’t famous. Her voice is incredible. I don’t think she ever hit a bum note, she didn’t have so much as a falter. Speaking of which, Louis Maskell, who played Tony, also had one incredible voice – so powerful and he definitely was the perfect choice for Tony.

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As for the sharks, the shark girls really stood out. Especially during their performance of America which was incredible!

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The whole production was amazing, and as far as I could tell there were no slip-ups – well…there was one slip up. Literally. I can’t remember which part exactly, but in one scene, Tony picks up Maria and twirls her around, and in doing so, Maria lost a shoe. It was quite funny. It went flying off the stage and landed right in front of me. The audience laughed and the people in the orchestra looked confused (since they were in a pit and couldn’t see what was going on) and the conductor had to explain through hand gestures that Maria’s shoe fell off!

Speaking of the people in the orchestra, they kept me very entertained during the interval. Obviously they went out to stretch their legs and what not, but when they returned, one was playing a game (I think it was angry birds) on his phone, another was playing on his iPad, and then the drummer took out Alex Ferguson’s biography and started reading it! Then a trumpeter came in with a cup of tea, and I said (a little too loudly) “I’d love a cuppa tea right now”. I didn’t mean to say it so loudly, but this then sparked up a conversation with the lady sitting beside me! See, tea brings people together.

So overall the show was phenomenal! The cast was amazing and they are so sweet too. I’m following a few of them on twitter and the guy who played Tony tweeted me joking about looking for the missing shoe! Sadly today is the last day of the show in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, but if you get chance to go see this show whether it be on the West End or Broadway, I highly recommend it. It got 5 stars from me.

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– Bee

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